Lawyers clash as Donald Trump’s civil rape trial begins – –


Opening statements concluded Tuesday in the civil trial on rape charges involving former President Donald Trump (pictured earlier this month in a fraud case statement). File photo by John Nacion/UPI | license photo

April 25 (UPI) — The defamation and assault case against former President Donald Trump began Tuesday when the attorney for writer E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump raped her in a New York City department store in the 1990s, told the sworn that the former president “slammed the door shut.” and pounced on her.

The lawyers for both parties concluded their opening statements Tuesday afternoon after the selection of a jury made up of six men and three women.

Carroll’s attorney, Shawn Crowley, told the jury: “Donald Trump assaulted Carroll in 1996 and slandered her when she said she made it up.” Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, argued that “she is doing this for money, political reasons and status.”

He filed the lawsuit to “sell a book, hurt [Trump] politically and inject herself into the spotlight,” Tacopina said.

“The evidence will show that he has said lie after lie in this case,” Crowley responded.

Carroll filed the lawsuit in November, alleging that Trump smeared her in a 2022 Truth Social post when he called her accusations “misleading and lying.” She added the assault charge after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act, which allows victims to bring civil lawsuits beyond the criminal statute of limitations.

Carroll’s rape allegations were first published in New York magazine in June 2019 while Trump was president, with an excerpt from her book. What do we need men for? a modest proposal.

In the article, Carroll said Trump approached her in 1996 at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan, where she said the former real estate mogul followed her into a fitting room and raped her.

They had “moved around the store laughing and joking” before “everything changed,” Crowley told jurors Tuesday. “The truth is that she didn’t see him as a threat that day, but she was wrong.”

“Suddenly, Mrs. Carroll was in all the headlines. The most powerful person in the world…had called her a liar,” Crowley said.

Trump’s lawyer told the jury that Carroll’s “story is not true” and lacks facts.

“MI. Jean Carroll can’t produce objective evidence to support her claim, because it didn’t happen,” Tacopina said. “She can’t tell you the date she claims she was raped.”

“MI. Jean Carroll fabricated a story about Donald Trump when he was president and then made that story the center of her life and lifestyle,” Tacopina told the jury.

Senior US District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan is weighing yes or no Trump’s lawyers can tell jurors that plaintiff E. Jean Carroll’s legal fees are being paid by a major Democratic donor.

Carroll’s lawyers earlier this month revealed that a nonprofit funded by billionaire LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman was covering his legal costs.

In a statement last fall, Carroll said he was not receiving any help to cover legal fees.

Hoffman has previously said publicly he is not trying to hide his financial contribution to Carroll’s legal team.

A total of 10 prospective jurors were fired near the beginning of the proceedings after being asked if they thought they could render a fair verdict.

The judge previously denied a request for jurors to be instructed that Trump was “excused” from attending court unless called to testify.

He also previously refused a request by Trump’s lawyers to delay the start of the trial by a month.

Carroll’s lawyers have indicated they have no plans to call the former president to the stand. Trump is listed as a defense witness, but it is unclear if he will be called to testify.

The trial is expected to last around five days.

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